Category Archives: BigDoor News

Gamification Goes Mainstream

Over the past year we have watched gamification grow in popularity. With each company that implements gamification, the term seems to gain ground in becoming recognized as a successful solution to engagement and loyalty problems online. Gamification was even short listed for word of the year in Oxford’s Dictionary 2011. We decided to recognize the growing popularity and success of gamification and its implementations in this infographic below (because let’s face it, everything is better as an infographic).You can read more about it’s success on Forbes or ReadWrite Enterprise. A HUGE thanks to Matt Shobe and Chad Jacobson for their work on this!




BigDoor Welcomes Gerry Narvaja and Bill Dias

We are very excited to announce that the BigDoor family has grown by two. This week, we welcome Bill Dias and Gerry Narvaja to the team. Both Bill and Gerry will be working with the internal team, headed by Jeff Malek BigDoor’s Co-Founder and CTO.

Gerry Narvaja comes to us with decades of experience in the IT industry. He will be working as a MySQL DBA here at Bigdoor. He has a degree in electronic engineering and an MBA with a management info systems focus. He has worked extensively with databases and has focused on MySQL for the past decade, making his expertise invaluable to our team. He was at MySQL AB early on and left just after the Sun acquisition earlier this year. Gerry calls himself a certifiable geek with a passion for photography, computer strategy games and computer hacking when he is not at work. He also co-hosts the OurSQL podcast with MYSQL community leader and podcast creator Sheeri Cabral. When asked about his thoughts on BigDoor after a week on the team he said, “It’s all about the intensity and the fun of a startup in a new industry!”

Bill Dias is our new Systems Architect. Bill comes to us with an accounting degree with management info systems focus. He is originally from southern California. He has years of experience in the IT industry in support, operations and development. Bill previously worked at Zango, Keith Smith and Jeff Malek’s previous company and they are both excited to have him on the team again. Bill has prior startup experience as well, which makes him a great addition to our ever growing team.

BigDoor’s Keith Smith in Forbes

It’s worth mentioning that today BigDoor Co-Founder and CEO Keith Smith is featured in Forbes, “The Net Breeds Promiscuity; Hang on To Your Customers.”  The article focuses on loyalty. As Keith states, “…your online customers aren’t as committed as you think they are. They’re just as happy to get into bed with some other brand as they are with you. That’s because the Internet has largely killed brand loyalty.”

Keith outlines a few strategies for gaining loyalty including creating valuable content, improving your site’s usability, excellent customer service, fostering online communities and of course adding gamification.

What’s your Loyalty Score?

#Startup Growth; Everyone Pitches In

With all the negative press that’s been out about working at startups we thought we’d share our experience. Like most startups, we’re moving at an incredibly fast pace.  To keep up with the demand our BigDoor team continues to grow. Today we welcome Gerry Narvaja the to team as our new DBA. Early next week Bill Dias will join as our new Operations Developer. Gerry and Bill will bring our team to a grand total of 34 employees – 26 of which are developers dedicated to working directly on our product. Since closing our Series B funding in Summer 2010 we’ve more than doubled in head count, twice!

As the company continues to grow and scale we keep ordering more desks. We thought we’d share this great photo of our Chief Technology Officer, Jeff Malek and our Chief Operations Officer, Ring Nishioka, as they pitched in to build one of our new desks yesterday. In a true startup, everyone pitches in to help. Taking ownership and wearing many different hats are two of the best things about working in a startup.  Thanks guys, and a BIG welcome to Gerry and Bill!

A Dose of VC Wisdom

Tomorrow we are excited to have a visit from our investor, Brad Feld of Foundry Group. With his busy schedule, we feel lucky to get the opportunity to sit down with him over lunch and have an opportunity to ask questions. Last time he visited, we discussed everything from the business to how he stays sane with such a demanding schedule. If you aren’t familiar with Brad, check out his blog

Recently, Brad gave a lecture for Stanford’s ‘Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Lecture Series’. You can view the entire lecture here, but we had to share his insight on ‘trying’ and how it can undermine entrepreneurs from the start. We think any VC who quotes Yoda in a lecture for Stanford is pretty awesome, but take a look for yourself.

#Gamification News You May Have Missed

Happy Halloween! Here is some gamification news that you may have missed last week.

Profiting by Playing Games Human Resources Executive Online 10/27/2011 An interesting look at how organizations that manage innovation processes are jumping into gamification. Brian Burke, a Gartner analyst says that by 2014 a “gamified service for consumer-goods marketing and customer retention will become as important as Facebook, eBay or Amazon and more than 70 percent of Global 2000 organizations will have at least one gamified application.” The article also details’s implementation of a Harry Potter-themed gamification program into their learning management system using BigDoor’s technology.

Game Mechanics; 3 mobile fitness apps that get it right GameAccess 10/27/2011 Our mobile product manager, Scott Mullins, did a great post over on GameAccess highlighting 3 mobile fitness apps that are great examples of gamification. These three apps use game mechanics to motivate and reward you on your fitness goals.

How Gamification Can Make News Sites More Engaging Mashable 10/27/2011 Mashable did a great post on how their gamification implementation Mashable Follow has been successful, as well as a look at elements they feel contributed to the success. The Follow program encourages readers of the website to stay logged in, reading and commenting in reward for site status, creative badges and a chance to compete in Mashable contests.

Tech Moves: Spoonemore named CEO of Dwellable; BigDoor adds staff, etc Geekwire 10/24/2011 We are super excited to announce 4 new staff members here at BigDoor. We are growing like crazy with more than 25 new hires this year. Welcome Sean Zhong, Fayez Mohamood, Scott Mullins and Paige Petersen!

Webinar: Crowdsourcing solutions for SMB Marketers

If you’re a marketer get a jump on next week and start planning to attend this webinar: Crowdsourcing Solutions for SMB Marketers on Thursday, 9/29 at 3:15pm. EST.

The Webinar features six thought leaders in the crowdsourcing industry, including our very own Bryan Estes! CrowdFlower, Wooshii, crowdSPRING and GeniusRocket will weigh in on leveraging the power of a crowd, managing expectations/results, and best practices for integrating crowdsourcing into a digital marketing strategy. Bryan will focus on our concept of Directed User Engagement and how gamification can really engage a community.

We hope to have a lively discussion and look forward to your questions! To sign up for the webinar click here.

Dell Hopes to Score with Gamification

Columnist David F. Carr wrote this piece for “Brainyard News” on Carr interviewed BigDoor co-founder and CEO as well as Dell’s executive director of online marketing for public and large enterprise at Dell, Rishi Dave and Red Method’s CEO Matt Walton.  An excerpt below – read the entire article here:

“Dell will use a mobile app and gamification techniques to encourage attendees to get the most out of its upcoming Dell World conference…At Dell World, which will be held October 12 to 14 in Austin, Dell will use a mobile application linked to BigDoor Media‘s gamification system to guide conference goers through the event program, while recognizing the most active participants…The application uses BigDoor’s gamification engine on the back end to track and score attendee activities at the show, together with a custom mobile application from Red Method that runs natively on iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 7, as well as in HTML5 for BlackBerry. BigDoor provides the gamification logic, and Red Method’s app provides the user interface, including the icons displayed for achievement.”

BigDoor Powers #Gamification of Mobile App for Dell World

Today, during the second annual Gamification Summit we’re very proud to announce that we have been selected by Dell to power gamification of the mobile application for the inaugural Dell World 2011 Conference. The conference takes place October 12-14 in Austin, TX and will bring together the most influential leaders and visionaries in the technology industry today. BigDoor was selected by Dell to create and power a gamified experience for conferences goers using the Dell World Mobile app.

Throughout the Dell World conference, attendees will find hundreds of QR codes to scan with the Dell World mobile app at various booths, panels, and in all presentations. BigDoor has created multiple ways to engage attendees through Journeys, allowing Dell to see in real-time which exhibits, sessions and even food trucks are the most popular and heavily trafficked. Each Journey is customized to a specific conference track including Cloud, Social Media, Data Center, Workforce Productivity and Data Management. Attendees are rewarded with achievements for every scanned QR code and completed Journey. Additionally, BigDoor and Dell have ensured that the attendee engagement doesn’t stop when the conference hall closes.

We’re finding that gamification has really turned a corner this past year as large brands begin to embrace this industry. We’re working with companies like Dell to help accomplish their gamification needs and bring deeper user engagement in both the online and offline world. Our technology is flexible and we’re able to implement seamlessly in the mobile space for conferences and tradeshows. We’re working with digital agencies to help large brands strategize and build robust social loyalty programs that truly drive engagement.

If you’re at G Summit today – come by and say ‘hello;’ if you didn’t make it out for the conference please shoot us an email at and let us know how we can help with your gamification needs!

BigDoor’s Engagement Economy Creates #Gamification Monetization

We’re really excited about this Infographic that our designer Chad put together. We’ve been talking about the private beta of our Engagement Economy and today we reveal some early results. At BigDoor we have built a framework that focuses on the four things that matter most to online publishers: Frequency, Engagement, Virality and Revenue. Check out the results!